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Spartleton SS-182. A little VHF from SS region


#1

In reply to G1ZJQ:

Not done Spartleton yet. Dirrington Great Law is a great little hill. Surprisingly steep paths but it’s nice at the top. It’s easy to miss Meikle Says Law from the Longfromacus Road but when viewed from the Edinburgh side it’s quite obvious. What always gets me when I’m out that way is how huge The Cheviot looks. I always forget that the border isn’t very far away on that side of the country. Your QSO count for unannounced VHF SS operation is excellent, I’m very jealous!

We should see if we can round up a few more activators and try and organise a mass activation of the summits in that part of SS and SB sometime this summer.

Andy
MM0FMF


#2

In reply to G1ZJQ:

I’m sorry I missed you on NP-003 Derek, especially after your fine bizz signal from Spartleton.

Hmmm 15 QSO’s and not a single spot, that’s not very nice of those who took the points from you.

Hopefully, I’ll catch you on the next one.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#3

In reply to G1ZJQ:

“I’ve just invested in a FT817ND but will continue to activate with the FT290R2 & FT790R2: the FT817 receive does not compare well with the FT790R2”

The front end gain of the FT817 is factory set for best signal to noise ratio, but I found that significantly increasing the front end gain had no perceptable effect on S-N. To increase the gain go into the “hidden menu” by holding in the A+B+C buttons and switching on. Select menu item 6 (check this, I’m talking from memory!) note the figure on the screen in case you want to go back to the factory value, then increase the gain to taste with the main control. It may be beneficial to tweak up the gain on 2 metres, too, that is menu item 5. Most of the hidden menu items should be left severely alone!

73

Brian G8ADD


#4

In reply to G1ZJQ:

An most interesting and encouraging report Derek. Excellent results for mid-week and without an alert.

I am chomping at the bit having missed my annual visit to Northumberland at Easter as a result of the split in the holidays, purely at the whim of my wife’s “masters” in the local education department… all in an attempt to create 6 equal terms which aren’t actually equal in reality. Anyway, we are booked up for the May holiday week so I shall be making the effort to drive north to activate a few SS’s. If you are around, perhaps we could hook up for a joint activation if you are interested.

73, Gerald


#5

In reply to G8ADD:

You obviously read your manual Brian… not really a manly thing to do, Hi!

I left my gain settings as set by the factory as I use a linear / preamp in front of the 817 and this provides me with approximately 1dB NF on both 2m and 70cms (Gasfets) - usable given the lower ambient noise floor on most summits. I do find the 817 a bit deaf on HF though - maybe that’s just me expecting a “brighter” performance from lower frequencies.

I assume Derek is weight training if he intends to take all three rigs up the hills!

73, Gerald


#6

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi, Gerald! You won’t find the “hidden menu” in the manual, I got it off the FT817 Yahoo Group site, a much more manly way of doing it!

I found on all HF bands from a quiet /P location that I could hear the background noise increase when the antenna was plugged in, so my FT817 was as sensitive as it needed to be, but there could be differences between units - perhaps yours was assembled on a Friday afternoon!

I regret parting with mine, I miss it!

73

Brian G8ADD


#7

In reply to G1ZJQ:

Hi Derek, I had a little chuckle at your comment about the pc and inputting an axe, hi, I can picture this kilt wearing red faced creature, bent over the pc weilding an axe, held tightly in both hads and about to strike, lol.

On the spotting issue, it’s a point I have raised before andwas told that this rarely happens. The true fact is that it happens regularly and is on the increase.
I regularly find myself wondering about why a chaser with spotting facilities would work an activator and not spot him/her. There can only be one reason and that is certainly not in the spirit.

I am possibly up in your area in May, although we haven’t finalised on the area yet. I enjoyed Fort William in January, but probably won’t go so high up this time.

73 Mike
GW0DSP


#8

In reply to GW0DSP:

“I regularly find myself wondering about why a chaser with spotting facilities would work an activator and not spot him/her. There can only be one reason and that is certainly not in the spirit.”

There have been a couple of activations recently that I could not spot because the web site was unavailable; these outages seem to be becoming more frequent, now, I get them most days, it happened here half an hour ago but was fortunately brief. I believe that you suspect gamesmanship, Mike, this can’t be ruled out, I suppose, human nature being what it is, but I would be more inclined to blame the web getting overloaded.

73

Brian G8ADD


#9

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi Brian, there were no outages yesterday that I’m aware of. Unfortunately this is on the increase, although in some cases the activator may ask not to be spotted due to the fact they are simply out for a family walk and carrying a handy but can’t stay.
Personally, I think it would be better with no spotting facility to be honest, that would sort the chasers from the screen watchers;-)

73

Mike GW0DSP


#10

The explanation seems more straightforward. A glance at the log for that activation reveals that none of the stations were current regular SOTA chasers or SOTAwatch users. I do many activations where ‘regular’ chasers are not worked. And many where they are. There can be many reasons why an activation can be completed without working a known chaser - such as working the usual bunch of Manchester commuters at 7.30am on 2m FM from The Cloud! More typically, this happens in geographical areas where there are not so many participants, especially if using a ‘local’ mode such as VHF FM.

Most of my activations in SB, TW, SS and DC were comprised of contacts with stations that knew next to nothing about SOTA, so the failure to have got spotted could hardly be considered as selfishness on their part!

Tom M1EYP


#11

In reply to GW0DSP:

I regularly find myself wondering about why a chaser with spotting
facilities would work an activator and not spot him/her. There can
only be one reason and that is certainly not in the spirit.

Hi Mike,

I have witnessed the other side of the coin in that I have been spotted by a Chaser who subsequently failed to work me. Such is life I suppose.

I always welcome spots as working as many as possible is what it is about. I agree that deliberate non-spotting would not be in the spirit, but you can’t rule out what amounts to just pure laziness! Such a pity when Activators make an effort to put a summit on the air.

73, Gerald


#12

Most of my activations in SB, TW, SS and DC were comprised of contacts
with stations that knew next to nothing about SOTA…

Hi Tom,

The converse is true of my activations in these areas. Maybe that is the difference between 2m FM and 2m SSB coming into play. I find the level of dedication by Chasers on 2m SSB to be of the highest order, a factor for which I am eternally grateful.

73, Gerald


#13

I agree that deliberate non-spotting would not be in the spirit, but you can’t rule out what amounts to just pure laziness! Such a pity when Activators make an effort to put a summit on the air.

But look at Derek’s QSOs on the Database Gerald. Clearly, neither ‘laziness’, nor ‘deliberate non-spotting’ are the reasons.

Maybe that is the difference between 2m FM and 2m SSB coming into play.

That is undoubtedly the case. And also, the difference between alerting/self-spotting, and not. If you do, you always get chasers, who provide slick operating for the activator, and updates on SOTAwatch. You can’t expect that with an unannounced activation on 2m FM, especially away from the main SOTA ‘hotbeds’.

Tom


#14

In reply to M1EYP:

Hi Tom,

I was responding to Mike’s comments rather than making direct reference to Derek’s report. I agree the contacts Derek made were with non-Chasers and so spotting would have been unlikely. I did have one instance when a non-SOTA contact asked for the SOTA website address so he could join in and spot me. I can’t recall whether he managed to spot me or indeed whether he became a Chaser himself, but what a gentleman!

73, Gerald


#15

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald

In general I find that the spotting can be as competetive as the chasing most of the time, with a race to spot first, hi, but call it what you like, there is no getting away from it that non-spotting is on the increase.

Such a pity when Activators make an effort to put a summit on the air.

Hear here!! My point entirely Gerald.

73
Mike GW0DSP


#16

Re. the 2nd posting I’m definitley up for a “mass activation” of my local summits. Although Dirrington is only about 3-4 miles away from the home QTH I am saving it for “a rainy day”(!!!)(or a tuesday evening). Similarly Ros Hill SB009.

Tnx for the chasers who helped me activate SS209 yesterday-It was a bit wet on top. Also thanks Don (RQL) for the signal strength report on Jura’s bark.

Regards

Steve J


#17

Derek,
I was the ???md call you noted from SS-182. I copied your report ok, but you obviously did not get mine. 2M system here is pretty rudimentary, 9ele Tonna @ 20ft, 50 W max. Qth Cheltenham.
Thanks for trying; next time maybe.
73
Frank


#18

Aha! So it looks like we might be up for a “masso” in the environs of SB-land (including the seldom on-air SS summits just across the border). I’m happy to coordinate things. My idea is for a fun afternoon/evening and to see how many summits we can get on the air at the same time so the more activators the merrier. As many bands/modes as we can but the whole emphasis being on fun. If potential activators contact me via email ( mm0fmf AT hotmail.com ) we can start getting some ideas together.

On the subject of spotting, I take my hat off to those activators who “go commando” and activate with no prior alerts. Especially Derek and Clive.

Andy
MM0FMF

p.s. If anyone really wants to know the origin of “masso” just ask! :wink:


#19

In reply to MM0FMF:

Just watching Derek & Clive on YouTube :wink: